KFN feeds fire on July 1

As promised, traditional Canada Day celebrations were replaced by sombre remembrances July 1.

Kátł’odeeche First Nation hosted a fire feeding ceremony that attracted hundreds of people from the Hay River area.

“It went really good and it’s so spiritual and amazing and everything came together,” Chief April Martel said, adding the attendance of the mayor and deputy mayor of Hay River, Deh Cho First Nations Grand Chief Kenny Cayen and Canadian Rangers and RCMP members made it “a really special event.”

Aurora Tambour, dressed in an orange t-shirt commemorating residential school survivors and a red skirt takes part in July 1 ceremony held on Kátł’odeeche First Nation. Photo courtesy of Aaron Tambour

Headstones installed for veterans

Three headstones for deceased Indigenous veterans were installed at the Hay River Cemetery thanks to Floyd Powder and the Last Post Fund.

Memorial markers for Hal Dwight Hendricks, Lawrence Clarke and James Dechief were added to the batch of “quite a few headstones already there and funded by Last Post and (the Royal Canadian Legion),” according to Powder.

Urgent call for foster parents

Even taking a child for a weekend would have helped, according to the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority (HRHSSA).

A call went out in early July for foster parents willing to offer any amount of time to a child in need, from accepting permanent placements to just a weekend visit to give another parent some respite.

The service was short seven foster homes across the three communities it serves: Hay River, Enterprise and Kátł’odeeche First Nation. It was the largest shortage the foster care co-ordinator had seen in five years on the job.

Mask requirement lifted

The Town of Hay River ended its mask mandate for municipal facilities July 8. The change came after the most recent easing of restrictions by chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola.

“We discussed the town staff’s comfort level with suspending the mandatory mask policy,” Ross Potter, director of protective services, said. “It was communicated that all staff are comfortable with (that).”

Rare earths mine to help economy

The transportation of ore from the Cheetah Resources rare earths mine is expected to boost the Hay River economy as it passes through.

The raw material is shipped via barge, truck and train to Saskatchewan for processing.

“The company is hoping to retain additional economic opportunity in the Hub by maintaining and managing its inventory of ore concentrate in Hay River and shipping it to its processing facility as needed throughout the winter.”

First Nation marks centennial of Treaty 11

West Point First Nation was among the Indigenous governments that marked the 100th anniversary of Treaty 11, the final numbered treaty signed in Canada.

“Treaty 11 is a vital document for Dene self-determination and declaration of sovereignty,” Dehcho First Nations Grand Chief Kenneth Cayen said. “This treaty includes a recognition of allodial title, which was not given to the Dene by a separate government but rather inherent in the nations and communities. The treaty is also evidence of an agreement made between two sovereign parties: the Dene peoples and the Crown.”

Craig Gilbert

Craig is an award-winning journalist who has worked in Ontario, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Alberta. He should be at least six feet away from you at all times.

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